|Publication number||US5782250 A|
|Application number||US 08/777,387|
|Publication date||Jul 21, 1998|
|Filing date||Dec 27, 1996|
|Priority date||Dec 27, 1996|
|Publication number||08777387, 777387, US 5782250 A, US 5782250A, US-A-5782250, US5782250 A, US5782250A|
|Inventors||Larry C. Harrah, Jr.|
|Original Assignee||Harrah, Jr.; Larry C.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (24), Referenced by (19), Classifications (5), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to a dental flossing tool and, more particularly, to a device for placing first and second lines of the dental floss in proper tension for subsequent effective use.
Various dental floss tools have been proposed in the prior art references cited herein. Although assumably effective in operation, it is desirable to have a dental flossing tool which presents the floss at a sufficient tension so as to efficiently provide its proper cleaning function. Moreover, it is also desirable to have a tool which presents first and second stretches of the floss at an operative position for use on the upper and lower teethlines.
In response thereto I have provided a dental flossing tool presenting a handle with compartment for holding a spool of dental floss therein. The floss extends from the handle compartment and wraps around corner lobes of a floss head, the spaced-apart lobes presenting first and second spaced-apart longitudinal stretches of dental floss on opposed sides of the head. The free end of the dental floss is wrapped around a tension pin or pins which initially tensions the wound floss. A locking device, swingably mounted on a neck intermediate the handle and the floss head, places additional tension on the wound floss. A blade on the neck enables the user to sever a used portion of the dental floss subsequent to use.
Accordingly, it is a general object of this invention to provide a dental flossing tool which presents and maintains operative tensions on the dental floss to enhance use.
Another object of this invention is to provide a tool, as aforesaid, the flossing tool having a head which presents first and second laterally spaced-apart stretches of dental floss under tension for effective use.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a dental tool, as aforesaid, having tension pin(s) for winding the floss therearound so as to initially tension the wound dental floss.
A further object of this invention is to provide a flossing tool, as aforesaid, having a locking device thereon so as to provide additional tension on the wound floss line.
Another particular object of this invention is to provide a dental flossing tool, as aforesaid, having a blade thereon for severing a selected used portion of the free end of the wound floss.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of this invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the flossing tool from one side thereof;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the flossing tool of FIG. 1 from the opposed side thereof;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view of one end of the flossing tool of FIG. 2 on an enlarged scale;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view of the handle of the flossing tool of FIG. 1 on an enlarged scale;
FIG. 5 is a rear fragmentary view of the floss head, the locking device in an unlocked position displaced from the neck;
FIG. 6 is the FIG. 1 view of the tool with door removed to show the floss stored within the handle compartment; and
FIG. 7 is a front fragmentary, perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of the head of the dental flossing tool.
Turning more particularly to the drawings, the tool 100 comprises an elongated handle 200, neck 300 and floss head 400 extending therefrom.
Handle 200 is an elongated construction and includes therein a compartment 110 with access thereto provided by a pivotal door 120. A spool of dental floss 500 is secured within the compartment 110 with the free end of the floss 500 extending through a slot 140 adjacent the door 120 of the handle 200. The slot 140 longitudinally lies along the side of the handle 200 and presents a portion of the path for the floss extending from compartment 110.
Extending from the handle 200 at an upward angle between five and ten degrees is a tapered neck 300. A plurality of spaced-apart ridges/grooves 310 laterally extending across the neck 300. A lock assembly 330 is swingably mounted to one side of the neck 300 and includes a U-shaped clamp 332 having ridges/grooves 334 thereon which are designed to mesh with the ridges 310 extending across the neck 300.
Attached to the distal end of neck 300 at a downward angle of approximately 45 degrees is a floss head 400 having a central longitudinal beam 410 and first 412 and second 414 traverse beams. Corner lobes 422, 432, 424, 434 extend from the ends of the respective cross beams 412, 414. Within each lobe is a groove 423, 433, 425, 435 for presenting channels for floss passing therethrough.
On the opposed side of the neck 300 are first 340 and second spaced-apart tension pins 342 positioned on each side of the ridges 310. A cutting blade 600 extends from neck 300 and presents a sharp edge adjacent the tension pin 342.
In use the floss 500 is initially extended from compartment 110, along slot 140 and the top on the neck 300 and across the ridges 310. The floss is then guided through the respective channels 425, 423, 433, 435 in each of the lobes 424, 422, 432, 434 and wound about the tension pins 340, 342 so as to present an initial tension to the wound floss 500. Subsequently, clamp 332 of the locking device 330 is swung from its open FIG. 1 position to its locked position about neck 300 as shown in FIG. 3. A lip 336 on clamp 332 engages the underside of neck 300 so as to maintain the clamp 320 in its locked position. As such, the floss is trapped between the meshed ridges 310, 334 so as to place an additional tension on the wound floss 500.
As such, first and second spaced-apart stretches 510, 520 of floss 500 are positioned on opposed sides of the head 400 for user flossing of the upper and/or lower toothlines without the need to excessively manipulate the tool 100. The tension pins 340, 342 and locking device 330 places and maintains these floss lines 510, 520 under sufficient functional tension so that such lines 510, 520 will not collapse during user flossing. Accordingly, the user can insert the floss head 400 into his/her mouth and floss the appropriate teeth with no need to place the fingers within the oral cavity.
Upon completion the locking device 330 is moved to its open position with the free end of the floss unwrapped from the tension pins 340, 342. The previously used portion of the floss may then be severed by the cutter blade 600. A new portion of the floss 500 can then be extended from the compartment 110 and positioned as above-described for subsequent use.
The tool 100, as above described, thus presents first and second properly tensioned floss lines 510, 520 which enables the user to floss the upper or lower teethlines without excessive manipulation of the tool. The floss head 400 being sized to easily fit into the mouth is also angled relative to the neck and handle, as above described, so as to further aid the user in effective flossing.
It is to be understood that while a certain form of this invention has been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.
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|U.S. Classification||132/327, 132/323|
|Aug 20, 2001||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Feb 8, 2006||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jul 21, 2006||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Sep 19, 2006||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20060721